If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, say it with Saint-Amour

Valentine’s Day.

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To celebrate or not. One one hand, it’s a commercially invented day created pretty much with the sole purpose for corporations to sell love-infused merchandise to the reluctant male population, (half of whom will desperately try and fail to conceal their balloons, roses and teddies in bags from the other commuters), and doe-eyed teenagers, buying chocolate enscribed in pink glitter with “I love you Fred, Always Yours xox.”

On the other hand, be what it may, it’s a great reason to celebrate love and serves as a reminder to take some special time together and celebrate a relationship. For me and I’m sure the majority of the population, that involves food and wine.

And what better than a wine that’s called Saint-Amour, literally St. Love?

It comes from Beaujolais, a wine region in France that is famous for its grape varietal Gamay. The region is formed of the Beaujolais AOC appellation, Beaujolais-Villages AOC, and ten “Crus” – wines made from villages that have certified “Cru” status. There are ten of these. Beaujolais is one of the only rench regions left to still provide an excellent quality/price ratio.

Saint-amour 4671 JB Laissard ©

These cru wines will reflect clearly the terroir that they come from, for example the shallow granite soils of Chiroubles tends to produce lighter, fruit-forward wines, whereas the schist, slate, iron oxide and manganese “blue stone soils” of Morgon Côte de Py tends to produce bolder and punchier wines that tend to be darker in colour. I could drone on about these in great depth but for now that’s what you need to know.

Saint-Amour. The romantic Cru. It is the most Northerly Cru of the ten, bordering the Mâcon region of Burgundy. It produces lively, particularly refined and balanced wines.

It is particularly famous for showing lively red fruit. For example it will show aromas of kirsch and spices. The soils are siliceous-clay.

I have chosen one wine in particular that I love. Aside from this one, you can get Saint-Amour from Virgin Wines + Kwoff + Tanners + Alpine Wines.

Joseph Burrier Côte de Besset Saint-Amour 2013

The Wine Society, £14.50

 

Saint_Amour_Cote_de_Besset_Domaine_Joseph_Burrier

Terroir

In 2007, Domaine Joseph Burrier acquired the one hectare vineyard of the ‘Côte de Besset’ climat. The plot faces east on a granitic scree slope next to the village of Saint Véran, on the wide, steep slope of Mount Besset (the first steep hill of the Beaujolais region). Light, crumbly lava soils combined with compact, hard granite and quartz stones. The soils are generally silty, sandy and shallow, naturally limiting the yields.

Viticulture

The vines have an average age of 40 years old and are managed in an environmentally friendly manner to promote microbial life in the soils. They are 100% hand harvested and yield control is strict.

Winemaking

Following hand harvest the grapes are hand sorted at the Beauregard winery. Vinification is traditional and aimed at expressing terroir. After partial destemming the grapes are macerated for six to nine days with punch-downs and pump-overs. The end of the fermentation process and the ageing is carried out in “pièces” (228l oak barrels) for seven to ten months. The wine will evolve for at least three to eight years.

Velvety, light and with strawberry notes, slight cinnamon and particular eathy notes.

An ideal wine to have with your steak.

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